One of the aspects I relish in mainstream magazines worth reading is what I call CONTRAPUNTAL PUNCH. There are long reviews, for example, in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS that examine several books about a related theme or topic. Then follow-up issues of the magazine print long, well-argued responses to these articles. The strategy of course is to stimulate readers to do their own critical thinking.
When I initially read (with relish) Acer's "Five Card Mental Farce," I enjoyed it on two levels: (1) I loved his loping, amusing tone, which humanized experiences regarding a subject that is ripe for didactical treatment. (2) It forced me to reexamine my own thoughts about the principle of psychological forcing, if indeed we can call it a principle.
When I read Maven's riposte, I enjoyed a ripening of the very didacticism that Acer skirted. Besides, I tend to gloss over Maven's scolding tone in favor of luxuriating in his arguments and bounding from pointy point to point. It's great fun.
In short, the two articles, taken together create Contrapuntal Punch, which I wholly celebrate.
I also think that Lisa's remarks also stimulate and represent a gentler kind of punchiness; however, I think that once she was put off by Maven's imperious scolding, the rest of his valuable "confession" was given short shrift. It's important to get past tone and style.
We need our resident jesters and jousters.
I'm glad Genii finds a place for both--not only in our magazine, but on this Forum.
Keep them coming.
Bring it on.